by ANTHONY J. MERCED
The New York Red Bulls played a lackluster game against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night, a point Coach Jesse Marsch drove home in his post-match comments. He focused on his team’s poor choices and individual efforts as the reason for the 3-1 loss.
“Obviously, we make bad mistakes that cost us on goals,” Marsch said. “If you have a day where you go on the road against a good team and you don’t have any good individual performances and then you wind up making grave errors and mistakes, that just gives the other team goals, then you’re going to have a recipe for a loss.”
Those glaring errors started in the 28th minute when Damien Perrinelle sent a weak backpass toward goalkeeper Luis Robles. It was intercepted by Jordan Morris who was taken down by Robles to draw the penalty kick. Mistakes continued from there with over-aggressive marking, midfield giveaways and poor passing decisions. All of this with New York missing defender Kemar Lawrence.
“It’s early in the year,” Marsch said. “So, obviously not everyone is at their sharpest and best quite yet but we’ve got to find a way.”
Early-season excuses have been discussed since the club’s exit from the CONCACAF Champions League earlier this month. The preseason was rushed and disjointed because of the need to get ready for the regional club championship, then there was the distraction caused by the exit of Ali Curtis, the team’s former sporting director.
The team also appears to not yet be comfortable in its new 4-4-2 system. In each of their first two games it proved to be enough to stifle the opposition, but Seattle was able to break through and make New York pay for its mistakes.
In a way, the next game, against visiting Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon, could be what the team needs — RSL (0-2-1) has yet to win a game. New York will be without Sacha Kljestan (after his call-up to the United States national team) and potentially Lawrence.